Changes in technology have had an undeniable impact on today’s society, and no one is feeling this more than the younger generation. The pros of such advances are huge in terms of research and instant communication. But what about the negatives when it comes to excessive screen time and social media use?
Statistics from the Education Policy Institute have revealed as many as 95% of 15 year olds in the UK now use some form of social media in their down time. We are led to believe teen’s reliance on its use has led to significant increases in bullying, negative body image and anxiety. Claims even contribute it to statistics stating as many as one in four young people now show symptoms of depression in their early teens. So is this a true representation, or an over exaggeration on our part?
Call for action by the Commons Science and Technology Committee
The Commons Science and Technology Committee has recently called for an inquiry to be held looking at the impact today’s social media and screen time has on youngster’s health. It’s calling upon those effected as well as their teachers and youth workers to share their findings.
By going directly to the source, it hopes to discover the true scope of the issue; determining the reality from society’s concerns. And thus, what measures can be put in place to improve knowledge, offer support, and encourage the platforms’ correct use.
The areas laid out by the committee for discussion are as follows:
- What evidence there is on the effects of social media and screen-use on young people’s physical and mental well-being — for better and for worse — and any gaps in the evidence
- The areas that should be the focus of any further research needed, and why
- The well-being benefits from social media usage, including for example any apps that provide mental-health benefits to users
- The physical/mental harms from social media use and screen-use, including: safety online risks, the extent of any addictive behaviour, and aspects of social media/apps which magnify such addictive behaviour
- Any measures being used, or needed, to mitigate any potential harmful effects of excessive screen-use — what solutions are being used?
- The extent of awareness of any risks, and how awareness could be increased for particular groups — children, schools, social media companies, Government, etc
- What monitoring is needed, and by whom
- What measures, controls or regulation are needed
- Where responsibility and accountability should lie for such measures
(Taken from this original article)
Share your thoughts on the issue
What are your thoughts on the impact social media and excessive screen time is having on the younger generations? Do you think changes need to be implemented, or are we as a society fixating on age old issues that have been around much longer than the likes of Facebook and Twitter? Please let us know in the comments below.
For more information on this inquiry and details on how to submit your thoughts to the committee, follow this link.
You may also be interested in our previous post Kids on Social: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.